Owen Strachan's Confusing Perspective - Part 3

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All right. Happy Friday, everybody. Let's do it again. Let's just do it again. We're going to power through to one more episode of Dr.
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Owen Strawn trying to explain some things. You know what I mean? He's trying to explain himself. Let's continue. I forget where we left off.
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We're just going to get into it. Let's just do it. Is that our eschatological that, you know, we think of Isaiah's visions, for example, of what's going to happen in the
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New Jerusalem. Well, that's a wonderful vision that shapes my eschatological hope, something you've written about very powerfully and helpfully, but that's not to be applied now.
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That's going to, in my judgment, going to be fulfilled through the second. Yeah, so he's talking about how the nations bow to Christ, but he's saying how that doesn't apply to now.
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Okay, whatever. I mean, I'm not going to argue eschatology. That's just not my thing. This is the Eschatology Matters YouTube channel, so that's their thing, so it's no problem he's bringing it up.
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But really, that's more about, like, the idea of using the nations, you know, giving, assigning to them things that we do as individuals, right?
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Baptizing the nations. Oh, that's impossible. Well, I mean, can a nation kneel? Yeah, a nation can kneel because a nation's comprised of people.
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We're talking about the people kneeling, you know what I mean? And we're talking about the system kneeling and all that kind of thing. You know, there's different ways to use this language, but, you know,
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Owen doesn't really feel like he needs to take Sweden to coffee. I don't know what Sweden ever did to you, man, but you should take
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Sweden to coffee. Coming of Christ. In the same way, that's how
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I would read Psalm 2. Nations, furthermore, in Psalm 2 or elsewhere in the
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Old Testament or even in the New Testament, are not always technically countries as we would think of them in the modern era.
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Oftentimes, a nation is like what we would call a people group. It's bleed over between both concepts.
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I'm not saying it's always one or the other, but I'm not even convinced by the argument. I think it's in danger of anachronism to say, when we read about the nations coming to Christ or something like this, or kings bowing down,
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I don't necessarily think that means, again, Denmark or Japan just bowed the knee, everybody clapped, you know, to King Jesus.
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I think it's a broader vision that is somewhat confusing in human perspective, not in God's delivery of Revelation, but I think it's all being fulfilled in the second coming of Christ, when really and truly all the disciples of Jesus stream into the
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New Jerusalem, Revelation 21, 21 to 27, and we worship
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Him. So, I don't think, and I don't think in the
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Great Commission, as I was saying, that we're called to baptize these nations. I think that is not what the apostles do.
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The Book of Acts, we don't take everything from it and apply it directly to the life of the local church.
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But the Book of Acts is the apostles directly applying the Great Commission.
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And what they are doing in the Book of Acts is they are disciple -making, honestly. Taking people to coffee, you know, that's what they're doing in the
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Book of Acts. They're taking people to coffee, you know. And they're not taking the nation of Sweden to coffee in the Book of Acts. Yeah, you know, this is all very interesting.
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I think, you know, I'm glad he brought up this stuff about the difference between a state and a nation, a country and a nation.
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That's actually really interesting stuff. In fact, I think I said this in the last episode, that that's actually, in my opinion, some of the most interesting and helpful stuff when it comes to the discussion of Christian nationalism.
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What is a nation? Is it just an economic zone? And people are starting to think about these things.
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This is something that, you know, I think, I think, if, and I'm just spitballing here, but if you just took a hundred people on the street and you said to them, what nationality are you?
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I think they would tell you what their ethnicity is, and they wouldn't view the
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United States as a nation. And that's very interesting phenomena, you know what
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I mean? I'm not saying everybody would do that, but I think a lot of people would. They'd be like, oh, well, I'm a
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Latino, you know what I mean? That's not really a nation, or is it? You know what
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I mean? Like these questions are very interesting. They haven't really been thought through, at least in a very meaningful way in evangelical circles until recently with this
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Christian nationalism debate. That's the most helpful stuff to think through, in my opinion. So very interesting, very interesting stuff.
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And yeah, so we're going to let him continue to talk about evangelistic preaching.
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And they're fearless before, you know, the foot washer servant, and they're fearless before the king and the ruler.
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And I'm all in on that. But what they're not doing, Josh, anywhere is urging theonomistic post -millennial government to be set up in place so that they're given area they're in can be
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Christianized. It's not even sniffed in the book of Acts, which mystifies me because people just skip the book of Acts.
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That's where the Great Commission is. That's the lab for the Great Commission. That's them making good on the book of Acts, Owen.
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But the thing is, Dr. Strawn, is that we understand that the book of Acts was a very particular history of a very particular context.
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And it was a very narrow context following 12 guys and really, you know, really mostly one.
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And they were very particular, they had a very particular mission. In fact, you might argue they had a very particular
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Great Commission from the Lord. And so we have imaginations and we can say, okay, well,
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I'm not one of the apostles. I'm not even a pastor right now. I'm not a missionary, right?
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I'm not one of those. So what should I be up to? And it's not like they had like a way forward to try to put, you know, theonomy forward and things like that.
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He makes it seem like they should have been being theonomists back then. How was that going to work exactly,
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Owen? How was that going to work with the empire of Rome looming? You know what I mean? How in the world was that supposed to work?
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It didn't make any sense for them to advocate for different laws and theonomic laws and such in the book of Acts.
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It makes no sense. We find ourselves in a very different situation right now. And so people now have to ask themselves, because it's a different context, what kind of laws should we be advocating for?
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Because we have that opportunity in the United States. We have that opportunity to some degree.
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So they got to think through those things that maybe they never saw the apostles thinking through, but what does it matter?
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Again, like Josh Howard has asked a couple of times, do you see this as a prohibitive thing?
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So it's not in the book of Acts, it's not in the Great Commission, therefore it's prohibited. He seems to say no, but he certainly acts like the answer is yes.
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No, we don't see the apostles doing it, therefore it's prohibited. It's not.
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It's not. None of the apostles were governors. So it makes perfect sense that they would not be seeking to govern.
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Right? I mean, it really is that simple. None of the apostles were legislators.
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So it makes sense that you don't see them legislating. But there are many
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Christians today, many disciples of the Lord, who are legislators, who are governors, who are mayors, who are all these things.
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And so what should they be up to? Should they be saying, well, I didn't see the apostles governing.
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I'm a governor. I mean, who does? Liberalism. Classical liberalism.
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Why is that the default? It is the default for some guys like Owen Schron. Classical liberalism, of course.
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I don't see the apostles advocating for classical liberalism,
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Owen. On the authority of Jesus. Making good on that all authority has been given to me doesn't look like theonomy and public policy.
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It looks like bold evangelistic preaching such that disciples are made and churches are formed.
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And those churches and those disciples, sorry, I'll end here. They're going to have broad witness.
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There's going to be a wonderful blast radius of the gospel. There's going to be all sorts of things impacted. There's going to be sins targeted.
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All of that is good. But that itself is the outworking or the fruit of the commission.
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Okay. No, I like that. I might steal that phrase, by the way, the lab of the, the lab of the great commission.
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Is that what you said? Yeah, I think so. This is the thing. He's all, you know, Owen's so proud of himself because he's a little worried.
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Yeah. The lab, you know, but the thing is, this is, this is the nature of the lab though.
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Owen, I mean, like you, you, you work something out in the lab and then you'd go and do the thing.
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The lab has applications. You're not doing lab work for lab work sake. I just recently toured a lab, right?
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It was a lab of, uh, I guess a botany lab. That's the study of plants, right? Yeah. The botany lab, you know, and they're trying different ways to like grow, uh, vegetables and fruit and like different methods.
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And then one was in the aquaponics or whatever. And then they, they were growing certain, uh, plants that usually grow in bushes.
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They were growing them vertically so that they could get a better yield and stuff like that. And there's all this lab stuff going down in the lab, right?
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But everybody understands that you don't keep it in the lab. It's not just lab work because it's just lab work.
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We're just lab. We're just laboratory workers. No, it's lab work so that then you can go and take what they've learned in the lab and what they've accomplished in the lab.
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Cause they do accomplish things in the lab and then go take it out into the rest of the world and actually get the benefit of it.
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Right? So, so yeah, the lab, he's all proud of himself. Yeah. But you got to take it out of the lab at some point, right?
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And you got to say, okay, if the apostles were governors, what would they have done?
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How would they have governed life? Because they didn't have the opportunity to become the governor in the lab, but they did have the opportunity to do some lab work in the lab.
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What would happen if we took it out there though? Right? What would happen if we took it out there?
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And that's the question people are answering, right? So you don't look at the book of Acts and say, well, if it's not an
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Acts, we shouldn't be doing it. Maybe that's, maybe that's something that, you know, you could do like in your own individual ministry context, perhaps.
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But the thing is not all of us are missionaries. Not all. I know people like to say we're all on mission and that's fine.
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You can say that, but none of us, not all of us have the office, right? Not all of us have the office.
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And so we've got other things that we need to be doing. So like, if I can look at myself and say, well, what if, what if Paul, the apostle was, um, was a voter?
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What if he was a voter in Keene, New Hampshire in 2024? What would he be looking for?
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What would he be thinking about? What kinds of issues would he be concerned with? That's the thing,
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Owen, you got to take it out of the lab. I think you're stuck in the lab, Owen, and you got to remember that there's a whole world out there, right?
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The lab is not all there is. You got to get out of the lab. I like that. It's almost like you're a writer.
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That's good. That's a well put. Two tracks here, Owen, and I'll try to,
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I'll try to like not get lost in the weeds, but I'm thinking toward Acts, first of all. Um, and I suspect you're going to agree with me.
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We're still going to maybe see it a little differently, but, but I suspect we'll agree a little bit on this is that Acts, uh, something not being explicit in Acts is not necessarily a prohibition thereof.
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Right. So like, there's a lot of things we don't see in Acts. We don't see them. So Dr. Howard is, is, is thinking of the same thing
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I'm thinking of, right? Cause, cause of course, Owen has to disagree or has to agree with him that, yeah, it's not necessarily a prohibition, right?
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He has to agree with Dr. Howard here, but the thing is his whole presentation so far has been kind of throwing shade at that and saying, yeah, you know, we don't see it in Acts.
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Like, so, so Dr. Howard's kind of pinpointing and asking a question that really
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Owen can't disagree with, but when he doesn't disagree with it, it basically takes everything he just said and makes it irrelevant.
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Dr. Owen or Dr. Howard, dude, you're a savage. This man is a complete savage.
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This is, this is the zinger right here in a nice way. Good job, Dr. Howard. Setting up seminaries.
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We don't see them, you know, but we still probably wouldn't set up seminaries. He got him again. That's a zinger right there, man.
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This man is a savage. Dr. Josh Howard. Savage.
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Seminaries are not good. Cause they're not in Acts. So like we both agree on that and I'm not, I'm not trying to get a gotcha moment there or anything.
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And he knows it. He knows it. That's why he had to say, I'm not trying to gotcha, but I just gotcha.
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This is why, honestly, in all seriousness, in all seriousness, you know, my channel is mostly entertainment, of course.
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But this is why when I think, when I think about the kind of content I want to watch regarding Christian stuff, right?
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Cause I watch a whole bunch of different content, but when it comes to Christian stuff, I like listening to guys like this, right?
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Because he is low key, like a savage.
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I'm telling you, because he just, you know, said, yeah, I know you can't disagree with me.
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I know it's impossible to disagree with me. You know, cause you don't see in Acts, they don't set up seminaries, you know, like any, and he understands that Owen is currently, you know, involved in setting up and operating a seminary.
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So it's like, he just got them and he basically rendered everything Owen just said pretty much, you know, null and void, but he asked him, he'd said it in such a nice way.
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So disarming. Very good, Dr. Howard. I am so grateful for people like you and you in particular.
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Thank you so much, brother. Both agree. But with, with something like that, with, with the political power,
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I just find it a little, I mean, just gently, I find this unconvincing to say that they should not engage in politics because they did not, when you've got, you know, this tiny persecuted minority preserved by God's grace and God's given growth.
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And yet at the same time, you know, they're very much under the boot heel of a non, you know, they're not in a democratic Republic with all the protections we have.
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So I see, I see your point. I'm just, I'm not convinced that that comes to the level of a prohibition. And I don't hear you saying that, but I mean,
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He's not saying that, but he is kind of saying that. And that's, and that's, and that's what I love about how
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Josh asked that because he didn't want to, he didn't want to scare Owen away. He didn't want to, you know, get him on the defensive, even though he definitely is on the defensive in this question.
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It's not a prohibition, but you just spent the last five minutes or 10 minutes throwing shade at that.
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And so, you know, this whole thing about the acts, there are, they're not doing it. So what are you doing it?
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Hey, Owen, are you accomplishing the great commission? You know, when you set up this seminary, well, well, I don't know what, what
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Owen would say. Let's see. Let's see if he responds. That'd be the, I'm sorry to break it.
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No, you're good. Just for purposes of clarity. I don't think I said they should not be involved.
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And I certainly don't think that part of, I think what is going to happen in the community where the gospel takes root through a sound church.
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That's the only way there is Christian culture formed is there is the gospel somewhere, true
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Christian culture. The gospel takes root and there's Christians. And that's the reason why there's
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Christian culture of any kind that exists. And part of what is going to happen in that blast radius of the gospel is people are going to go, wait a minute.
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I'm not called to be a pastor, but I can serve on the city council. I could run for an America.
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I could run for state rapper on, on up the list, all the way up to president. Wonderful. Please do so.
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If you're listening to this podcast and you're politically inclined as a Christian that you're doing it self -consciously as a
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Christian, because then you might be a Christian nationalist and that, you know, that's very dangerous. I really am your friend, please run.
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But what I'm trying to say is that is not to be understood. This is very technical and very precise.
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I admit that is not that Christian entering state rep office.
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That is not how the great commission is said to advance. That is not what was on the back of the apostles.
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The apostles did not go out and start a movement that was directly political.
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Their movement is political because Jesus is King, but they did not target politics.
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They did not. They did not try to restore an Israelite state.
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They did not preach theonomy. Christians then, disciples of the
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Lord Jesus Christ can and should make good law. I don't think we are called to bring old
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Testament law directly to bear on the state today. I think we have immense freedom there.
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That's a whole other subject, but Christians are great to be politically involved, but the political involvement is not the great commission.
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So here's what we've got. Again, I want to make sure this is very clear. What Owen is saying is, when the great commission says, teaching them to observe all
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I've commanded, the teaching part is the great commission.
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But when it's observing, the observing part, so what you then go and do is not the great commission.
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So teaching them to observe is great commission. Observing is not the great commission.
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It's the fruit of the great commission. So he's making a very technical distinction. Teaching them to observe, but when they go and observe, that's no longer the great commission.
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And he wants to be very careful about that, because he does not want you to think that if you have set up a
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Christian culture, that blast radius of the Christian culture, you are not advancing the great commission.
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You are not. When you set up a Christian culture, he is saying you are not advancing the great commission.
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That is not it. Only the teaching people to do that is. The observing is not.
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That is what he is saying. That is his argument. Teaching them to observe all I've commanded, that's the great commission.
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Observing all I've commanded, that is not the great commission. That is his argument. And if you notice, he said,
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I don't know. I'm not saying it's a prohibition. And then like five seconds later, he's like, but you don't see the apostles of preaching theonomy.
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They're not preaching theonomy. And this is this is the confusing part, because then people go out and preach theonomy.
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Let's just say a theonomist goes and said and preaches theonomy. He's going to throw shade at that. That's not the church's mission.
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That's mission drift. So OK, so the observing isn't something we should we should be actually doing.
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Right. Because that's mission drift to observe. It doesn't make any sense. None of this makes any sense. Except for one thing, except for one thing.
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There was a comment in my last video from a missionary, and he says he appreciates the distinction.
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And I wanted I pinned it because I want you to hear what he had to say. Because what he was saying is we've got these mission budgets.
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And this is again, this is a very operational type thing. He likes this because when he's out there in China or Asia or wherever he is, he said he he's fighting for mission dollars, essentially.
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And he doesn't want people to get distracted with the mission dollars that should be going to guys like him.
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Not he's not saying just for him, but just like the mission of the gospel advance and stuff like that.
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He doesn't want that getting confused with like political donations and other things here at home. And that's an interesting
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I pinned it because I thought that was an interesting perspective. And it's much more clear than what
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Owen here is trying to say, where it's like the teaching them to observe that's the Great Commission, but the observing is not the
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Great Commission. That's very weird. And it just seems like, yeah, we'll stop there.
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But I thought that was interesting, you know, because he wanted a way to distinguish between the two, right?
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He wanted a way to distinguish between the two not I don't think he was saying that we shouldn't be doing, you know, those things here at home, but he wanted a way to distinguish between global missions and, you know, you know, the
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Christian culture stuff. Anyway, I thought that was interesting. I thought I'd share it. I thought I'd share it.
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If you want to have a conversation with that guy. I pinned the comment on my last video, right? So it should be right at the top.
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I said, Hey, this is interesting perspective, you know, that kind of thing. Feel free to talk with him because I thought that was interesting.
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It's worth worth mentioning. But actually, the thing is, though, that that the Christian culture stuff like the building, the culture, the bakery, you know, the movies, the the traditions, the state stuff, all that stuff, all that stuff actually does move the
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Great Commission forward. It might not be technically the Great Commission, but it certainly does help.
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And Baptists of all people should understand this credo Baptists of all people should understand how this works.
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I did a quick Twitter video about this, but I thought I'd mention it here on YouTube as well. Because a lot of credo
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Baptists get all uncomfortable when people talk about how we should have a Christian culture and cultural Christianity is actually good.
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They get all hot under the collar. Oh, you're just going to make false converts. You know, people are going to think they're Christian and they're not. And they get all upset.
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But the thing is, credo Baptists, you guys should get this. You guys should get this because you guys have families, right?
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You have families and you look at your children. And a lot of you guys look at your children as unconverted, right?
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They're not Christians because they haven't they haven't repented of their sins. You know, they're young.
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They haven't repented of their sins yet. So you look at your children as unbelievers, a lot of you. And yet you still have them participate and set up a
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Christian culture at home. You still pray with them at nighttime, even though they're unbelievers. You pray with them.
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You teach them to pray, even though they're unbelievers, in your opinion. You still celebrate the
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Lord's Day, you take them to church, you teach them to sing to the Lord, even though in your mind, they're vipers and diapers.
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That's something I think Vlade Bakum said, I don't believe that. I'm a Presbyterian by confession. I don't believe that about about my babies, my kids, my toddlers.
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But a lot of you guys do you see them as unbelievers, right? So but you have a Christian culture, you celebrate the
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Lord's Day, you teach them to pray you. It's not like you don't have them participate in those things you do.
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And the reason you do it is because you know that that leads to good outcomes that leads to conversions.
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They grow up in a Christian culture, and it leads to proper conversions with repentant sinners that have been taught by you since they were a baby to repent of their sins to trust in the
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Lord to obey Christ. You taught them even when they were unbelievers, and it led to actual conversions.
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The culture works the same way, just on a larger scale. It's no mystery that there are more
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Christians in areas where there are churches on every corner, as opposed to areas where there are mosques on every corner or, or, or synagogues, or, you know, satanic altars or whatever it is, this is no mystery, because they grew up in this.
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When I was converted, you know, I converted to, you know, to the Lord, because I grew up learning about the
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Lord and how he would protect his people and forgive their sins. I grew up knowing that, and I didn't believe a word of it.
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I didn't believe a word of it. I did whatever I wanted to do. I felt like I was in charge, you know, and then
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I got into trouble. And what did I do when I got into trouble? I ran to what I knew from when
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I grew up, and that is how the Lord converted me. It's no mystery why
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I did that. I did that because my parents taught me. They taught me. I grew up in a
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Christian culture. My whole family was a mini -Christian culture. That's why it happened.
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And so, no, I'm sorry, Owen, but all the cultural outworkings of the blast radius of the Great Commission, whatever the heck you just said, all of that helps move the mission forward.
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I'm sorry, but it does. Okay? You can preach all day in a place where there is nothing but, you know,
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Muslims everywhere, and God may do a miracle, and there might be mass conversions, and praise
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God for that, because he is in charge of the human soul. He's in charge of who he selects.
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But, chances are, if you preach in an area where there's a lot of Christians in name only, cultural
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Christians, you are going to reach a lot more people. You are going to reach a lot more people.
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That's not to say you shouldn't preach where there's no gospel witness, but I'm just saying, like, it just, this is,
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Baptists should understand this, because that's how they set up their homes. It's not like they set up their homes in a, like, a secular environment, just so that they could be sure that the conversion will be genuine.
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I'm sure there's some wackos out there that do that, but most Baptists don't do that. They set up a
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Christian culture, because they instinctively understand that that is beneficial to the mission.
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The Great Commission is advancing. When you and I meet at Starbucks with Bob from accounting, that's, and Bob from accounting repents of his sin and trusts
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Jesus and now starts bringing his family to your church or mine. That's the primary way the
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Great Commission advances. That's what the Great Commission is calling for. And then Bob gets baptized, and then
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Bob is discipled in the church and starts learning all that Christ has commanded him. That's the Great Commission.
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Bob's life is going to be shaped and changed, and that's going to show up in tons of ways that we can't even fully unfurl here.
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But Bob being a better neighbor in his community, it'll lead to gospel opportunities, but Bob being a better member of the homeowners co -op is not the gospel itself.
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Again, I just want to highlight this. This is what he's saying. Teaching Bob to obey
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Christ is the Great Commission. Bob obeying Christ is not the Great Commission. That's all he's saying.
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Now, he will throw shade at anyone who says anything that Christ demands certain things of the government.
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He will throw shade at that, too, because he's a complete mess of confusion. So he's going to throw shade either way, but all he is saying is teaching
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Bob to obey is the Great Commission. Bob obeying is not the Great Commission.
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But even in that, he's a mess because he admits that Bob obeying is going to lead to all kinds of gospel opportunities.
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So Bob obeying, okay, this is really what it's boiled down to. Teaching Bob to obey,
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Great Commission. Bob obeying, not Great Commission. Bob obeying will lead to more
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Great Commission. I just broke my pen.
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I just broke my pen. I can follow that and I can understand what he's saying.
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I just don't understand why this is so important to him. I really don't. Bob obeying will actually advance the
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Great Commission, but it's not the Great Commission. Okay. All right,
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Owen. You win. You can have it. Bob obeying is not part of the
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Great Commission. Teaching Bob to obey is, but Bob obeying will advance the
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Great Commission. It'll lead to more advancement of the Great Commission, even though it's not the Great Commission. And that's very, very important because it's dangerous if you don't understand that the way
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Owen Strawn does. Doctor Owen Strawn. I've had about enough of Dr.
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Owen Strawn for this week. So I hope you have a good weekend. Hope you found this video helpful.